jm + democracy   5

Build a Better Monster: Morality, Machine Learning, and Mass Surveillance

We built the commercial internet by mastering techniques of persuasion and surveillance that we’ve extended to billions of people, including essentially the entire population of the Western democracies. But admitting that this tool of social control might be conducive to authoritarianism is not something we’re ready to face. After all, we're good people. We like freedom. How could we have built tools that subvert it?

As Upton Sinclair said, “It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends on his not understanding it.”

I contend that there are structural reasons to worry about the role of the tech industry in American political life, and that we have only a brief window of time in which to fix this.
advertising  facebook  google  internet  politics  surveillance  democracy  maciej-ceglowski  talks  morality  machine-learning 
6 days ago by jm
The Violence of Algorithms: Why Big Data Is Only as Smart as Those Who Generate It
The modern state system is built on a bargain between governments and citizens. States provide collective social goods, and in turn, via a system of norms, institutions, regulations, and ethics to hold this power accountable, citizens give states legitimacy. This bargain created order and stability out of what was an increasingly chaotic global system. If algorithms represent a new ungoverned space, a hidden and potentially ever-evolving unknowable public good, then they are an affront to our democratic system, one that requires transparency and accountability in order to function. A node of power that exists outside of these bounds is a threat to the notion of collective governance itself. This, at its core, is a profoundly undemocratic notion—one that states will have to engage with seriously if they are going to remain relevant and legitimate to their digital citizenry who give them their power.
palantir  algorithms  big-data  government  democracy  transparency  accountability  analytics  surveillance  war  privacy  protest  rights 
june 2015 by jm
South Korean spymaster had a team posting political comments on Twitter and rigging polls
Mad stuff. The South Korean National Intelligence Service directly interfering in a democratic election by posting fake comments and rigging online polls
web  polls  twitter  social-media  psyops  korea  south-korea  nis  sock-puppets  democracy 
february 2015 by jm
Who is my TD?
very nice single-purpose site -- figure out who represents any given Irish postal address
td  ireland  web  democracy  tds  dail 
april 2013 by jm
Atheist Ireland Publishes 25 Blasphemous Quotes
in protest against the Fianna Fail religious right's ludicrous new blasphemy law
blasphemy  ireland  law  legal  censorship  democracy  atheism  religion  quotes  from delicious
january 2010 by jm

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